Meet the Team: Dr Shaun Jerdan, Senior User Researcher at KOMODO
Today we’re getting to know Shaun, our new senior researcher who recently joined our team.
Shaun has come on board to steer our new User Research service. His role will be to carry out independent research projects as well as work alongside the design team to deliver solid research foundations for digital design projects for our clients.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Kelso in the Scottish Borders. I decided to leave rural life and move to Dundee to study sociology at the University of Abertay. I really enjoyed the research component of the course, which led to my master's degree in social research at the University of Aberdeen. During this time I was doing the odd part-time research job to try and get more experience and I was starting to think about how I could get into a career in user research.
At the same time, I was offered a PhD at the University of the Highlands and Islands to explore any possible effects of virtual reality (VR) on mental health. I ended up designing, building and testing a VR experience to be used in an NHS diabetes clinic. Upon finishing my PhD I continued to work with the university's digital health team conducting research with apps, websites and VR, internally and in projects for the NHS and Scottish Government.
Work aside, I enjoy watching sports, going to gigs, binging box sets and playing video games!
What does your role entail?
It is my responsibility to understand the needs, behaviours, and opinions of end-users regarding particular products, processes, or services.
My main goals are figuring out what the research aims to accomplish, why are we conducting research, and what are we ultimately looking to achieve? From there I can get into the nitty-gritty, conducting interviews, focus groups, surveys, diary studies and a range of other methods we researchers have in our armoury.
Once the research stage has been completed I analyse the data and break it down into digestible sections for stakeholders to use on their products/services/projects.
What do you enjoy most about user research?
I particularly enjoy the qualitative element, it’s great to just sit down and have a conversation with someone - it is something I’ve missed being able to do this in person over the last year. It’s nice to see people’s reactions to being listened to and consider how a product/service might make their life easier.
What attracted you to join KOMODO?
I instantly recognised there was a clear plan to build a research pedigree within the company, to be part of that at its origins was hugely appealing to me.
I also quickly got the impression that the people there were a genuine bunch and unapologetic about their talents.
What are you most looking forward to doing at KOMODO?
Expanding their user research capabilities, whether that be incorporating it into existing projects or bringing in new user research focused work. I have been impressed by the UX team in my short time here so I am looking forward to working with them more and getting to know them better.
What's the most useful invention of all time?
The most useful invention has to be Google Maps. Can you imagine carrying and using an actual map now? Thanks to maps and GPS tracking you can waltz around a major city for the first time and act like you’ve been there all your life!
User Research at KOMODO
This is sure to be the beginning of an exciting new service we offer at KOMODO. We asked Managing Director Andy Greener, who founded the agency back in 2003, what he thinks User Research will bring to the table for our clients present and future. He said:
“I’m excited to welcome Shaun to the KOMODO team as Senior UX Researcher. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in UX research to support KOMODO’s ambitious growth as a leading digital product agency. UX research and testing sit alongside our consulting and production services that, combined, offer our clients a best in class design and build solutions for great digital products.”
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